Landinfo Report. Reactions against deserters and draft evaders


Syrian males who do not show up for compulsory military service risk being listed as wanted by the government. Security forces are actively searching for draft evaders in government controlled areas. Those caught are in most cases dispatched directly to the military, but in some cases additional punishment is meted out. During the first years of the civil war, tens of thousands of soldiers and officers deserted. Deserters are treated in the same fashion as other opposition activists and risk being killed or jailed and subjected to torture if caught. Family members of deserters have in some instances been arrested or put under pressure. A number of amnesty decrees have been issued for deserters and draft evaders. These amnesties also cover some of the men left behind in opposition areas that have concluded local truce agreements with the government. These men are forced to enrol in the military, but are in most cases not subjected to other punishment.


The policy implemented by the Commissioner General is based on a thorough analysis of accurate and up-to-date information on the general situation in the country of origin. This information is collated in a professional manner from various, objective sources, including the EASO, the UNHCR, relevant international human rights organisations, non-governmental organisations, professional literature and coverage in the media. When determining policy, the Commissioner General does not only examine the COI Focuses written by Cedoca and published on this website, as these deal with just one aspect of the general situation in the country of origin. The fact that a COI Focus could be out-of-date does not mean that the policy that is being implemented by the Commissioner General is no longer up-to-date.

When assessing an application for asylum, the Commissioner General not only considers the actual situation in the country of origin at the moment of decision-making, he also takes into account the individual situation and personal circumstances of the applicant for international protection. Every asylum application is examined individually. An applicant must comprehensively demonstrate that he has a well-founded fear of persecution or that there is a clear personal risk of serious harm. He cannot, therefore, simply refer back to the general conditions in his country, but must also present concrete, credible and personal facts.

There is no policy paper for this country available on the website.